An Opera Australia and West Australian Opera production
2019 National Regional Tour
A man enchanted by the beauty of the East. A woman in love with the promise of the West. Separated by a vast ocean and many years, what will become of their love?
14 Aug, 2019 - 27 Aug, 2019
2 hours 25 minutes
time & dates
14 Aug, 2019
16 Jun, 2019
19 Aug, 2019
21 Aug, 2019
22 Aug, 2019
24 Aug, 2019
27 Aug, 2019
About the show
Puccini’s Madama Butterfly is a love story that reaches across cultures, across oceans, across time.
U.S. Naval officer B.F. Pinkerton is ashore in Japan, and enchanted with its beauty and freedoms. He decides to take a wife, and when the gorgeous geisha Butterfly arrives, he is transfixed by her charms. She falls hopelessly in love, and a passionate marriage begins.
Years later, Pinkerton has returned home. Abandoned by her family, Butterfly waits faithfully for her husband to return. Dawn breaks on a ship in the harbour. What will become of her great hope?
Puccini’s popular opera inspired the musical Miss Saigon. It is filled with gorgeous music, from the lovers’ first rapturous embrace to the intense finale. It features the famous aria ‘Un bel di vedremo’ and the Humming Chorus, along with Japanese and American musical themes.
One of Australia’s greatest theatrical minds, John Bell, directs this production, complete with beautiful costumes and sets.
Hear Opera Australia’s wonderful singers perform with a chamber orchestra, along with a children’s chorus, drawn from local communities.
Sung in Italian with English surtitles
Performed with a chamber orchestra
Cio-Cio-San Eva Kong / Sharon Zhai
Pinkerton Bradley Daley / Matthew Reardon
Sharpless Andrew Moran
Suzuki Barbara Jin
Goro Michael Lapina
Bonze Steven Gallop
Yamadori Shoumendu Schornikow
Kate Pinkerton Kristen Leich
Regional Children’s Chorus Master Mark Connors
REGIONAL CHILDREN’S CHORUS
Sourced from the local community
Sorrow Local performer
On a terrace above Nagasaki harbour, US Navy Lieutenant B F Pinkerton inspects the house he has leased from a marriage broker, Goro, who has also procured for him a geisha wife. To the American Consul, Sharpless, Pinkerton describes his carefree philosophy of a sailor roaming the world. When Sharpless warns that the girl may not take her vows so lightly, Pinkerton brushes aside such scruples.
Cio-Cio-San is heard in the distance. Surrounded by her friends, she tells Pinkerton how her family fell on hard times and how she had to earn her living as a geisha. In a quiet moment, she shows him a sheathed knife that the Mikado sent to her father, with the ‘invitation’ to commit hara-kiri – which he obeyed. Butterfly confesses that she has secretly been to the Mission and adopted the religion of her new husband.
Suddenly Cio-Cio-San’s uncle, a priest, bursts upon the scene, cursing the girl for having renounced her ancestors’ religion. Pinkerton angrily orders them all to leave.
Alone with his bride they discover the depths of their love.
Years later, Cio-Cio-San still waits for her husband’s return. Her maid, Suzuki, reveals how little money is left but is told to have faith: one fine day Pinkerton’s ship will appear on the horizon. Meanwhile, Sharpless arrives with a letter from Pinkerton asking him tactfully to inform Butterfly of his marriage with an American woman, but his attempts are frustrated by her constant questions.
Goro brings in a suitor for her hand, the wealthy Prince Yamadori, but Cio-Cio-San dismisses him, insisting that her American husband has not deserted her. When Sharpless suggests that Pinkerton may never return, she proudly shows him her child, insisting that as soon as Pinkerton knows of his son he will surely come back.
A cannon shot signals the arrival of Pinkerton’s ship in the harbour below. Cio-Cio-San and Suzuki strew the house with flower petals and begin their night’s vigil.
As dawn breaks, Pinkerton and Sharpless arrive with Pinkerton’s wife, Kate, remaining discreetly outside. They have come to enlist Suzuki’s support in persuading Butterfly to let them adopt the child. Pinkerton, overcome with remorse, rushes away.
Butterfly runs in but is taken aback when she sees only Sharpless and a foreign lady. She guesses the truth and agrees to give up her child if Pinkerton will return for him. Taking the dagger with which her father committed suicide, she bids farewell to her child, stabs herself and dies.
Assorted Regional Venues - see further below
WA Tour locations:
Each venue puts their tickets on sale at a different time. Please check with your local venue for their on sale date and ticket prices.
Broome | Sun Pictures | 14 August, 7:30pm | Presented by Opera Australia in association Bernard Gerbes
Karratha | Red Earth Arts Precinct | 16th August, 7:30pm | Presented by Red Earth Arts Precinct
Geraldton | Queens Park Theatre | 19 August, 7:30pm | Presented by Queens Park Theatre
Mandurah | Mandurah Performing Arts Centre | 21 August, 7:30pm | Presented by Mandurah Performing Arts Centre
Bunbury | Bunbury Regional Entertainment Centre | 22 August, 7:30pm | Presented by Bunbury Regional Entertainment Centre
Albany | Albany Entertainment Centre | 24 August, 7:30pm | Presented by Albany Entertainment Centre
Kalgoorlie | Goldfields Arts Centre | 27 August, 7:00pm | Presented by City of Kalgoorlie-Boulder